Heikki Kovalainen was the biggest casualty of opening qualifying in Canada, paying the price for heavy contact with the turn four wall early in the 15-minute session.

The Finn was attempting a second flying lap on his first set of tyres when he hit the kerb and was launched into the outside wall, tearing off the rear wing and appearing to damage the right rear suspension on his Renault. Frantic work from the crew got him back on track - the suspension turned out not to be damaged - and, for a brief moment, it appeared that Kovalainen may make the cut after he moved out of the danger zone, but the relief was short-lived as improvements from those below him pushed him back in to the bottom six.

The Finn was almost joined by David Coulthard, who had problems with his front left corner that caused two offs in as many laps at the start of the session, but the Scot also returned after repairs and twice hauled himself out of the drop zone, eventually dumping fellow Briton Anthony Davidson out of the session with his last-ditch lap.

Davidson and Kovalainen were joined in missing the cut by the under-fire Ralf Schumacher, who did little to enhance his claim to the second Toyota, Alex Wurz, who continues to struggle in qualifying for Williams and both Spykers, despite a spirited effort by Adrian Sutil to escape the clutches of the bottom six.

As expected, Ferrari and McLaren dominated the session, with Kimi Raikkonen eventually coming out on top with his second flying lap on a set of tyres. Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa and Giancarlo Fisichella rounded out the top five.



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